Creamy Italian Salad

This is one of the most simple salads I’ve ever made, and yet it got rave reviews from my family. Just like most recipes, you can customize this one to make it your own.

Creamy Italian Salad

  • 16 ounces seashell noodles
  • 16 ounce bottle creamy Italian dressing ; (I used Olive Garden brand)
  • 1/4 cup Onion ; chopped (I used green onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • Various finely diced fresh veggies ; your choice

Cook noodles as directed on package & drain. Rinse in cold water to prevent sticking; drain. Place noodles in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Serve cold.


Almond Frosting

Even though this recipe is called “ALMOND” frosting, you’ll notice there is no actual almond extract in here. That’s because the almond flavor comes from the maraschino cherry juice. We normally use this frosting to ice our sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day, so to frost these cupcakes I had to thin it out with some milk, then fluff it up with some marshmallow fluff.

Almond Frosting

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice, more if needed

Mix all ingredients together and spread on sugar cookie.



Italian Feast

Planning a wonderful party is one of my greatest joys.  This Christmas I’m hosting an Italian Feast catered by Food Junkee, one of my dear friends.  It inspired me to plan this menu for you here.




    • 1 lb sliced ham
    • 1 lb sliced pastrami
    • 10 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into sticks ( block)
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans black olives
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans artichoke hearts
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans hearts of palm
    • 1 (16 ounce) bottles Italian dressing
    • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Roll ham and pastrami around cheese.
  2. Secure with toothpick.
  3. Mix dressing and sugar.
  4. Layer rolls and remaining ingredients and marinate for at least 2 hours in dressing.
  5. Serve all on a bed of lettuce.


Photo credit: DeliciousAsitLooks

This dish may not be truly Italian, but it IS make ahead so you can spend more time with your guests as they arrive.  And delicious!


  • 4 -6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope dried Italian salad dressing mix
  • 2 ounces water
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup, undiluted (or regular soup)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • hot cooked rice or pasta


  1. Place the chicken breast halves in the crock pot.
  2. Combine the Italian dressing mix and water until smooth; pour over top of chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
  4. Combine the cream cheese and soup until smooth and blended.
  5. Stir in mushroom pieces.
  6. Pour soup mixture over chicken.
  7. Cook 1 hour more or until chicken is cooked through.
  8. Serve over hot cooked rice or pasta.

Cool Veggie Pizza

I made this for a holiday party to use up some fresh veggies from a crudite platter I’d done a few days earlier. Delish way to use up whatever fresh veggies you have!

Cool Veggie Pizza

Adapted from Kraft

  • 2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/2 cup sliced pitted black olives (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

Preheat oven to 375°F. Separate the dough into 4 rectangles. Press onto the bottom and up the side of the 15x10x1-inch baking pan to form a crust.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown; cool.

Mix cream cheese, dressing, dill, and onion salt until well blended. Spread over the crust; top with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate. Cut into squares.


Chick Fil A Sliders

My kids LOVE these little sandwiches. The pickle brine makes the difference.

Chick Fil A Sliders PRINT

  • 1 Package of Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • Bread crumbs (I prefer panko)
  • 1 Package of Kings Hawaiian Slider rolls
  • Pickle chips
  • Butter

Remove chicken breasts from the package and cut them in half lengthwise, then cut those pieces to fit on your slider rolls. I typically get 4 pieces per chicken breast. If they are really thick, I’ll pound the thicker pieces in a ziploc bag so they are all the same thickness.

Put your chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag and pour 1 cup of pickle brine over the breasts to marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

Heat skillet over medium, butter your cut slider rolls and lightly toast them in skillet. Set aside.

Cover bottom of pan with olive oil, heat over medium high heat.

Coat your chicken breasts with panko crumbs, shake off excess.

Fry chicken in batches, until chicken coating is browned nicely (3 minutes per side works for me) and keep each batch warm in a low oven while cooking the remaining chicken.

Assemble sammies with a slice of pickle secured to top with a toothpick, or inside sandwich. So good!


Mary’s Famous Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic

My daughter, Mary, is a very intuitive cook. She’s very smart about what flavors go together and how to use up what we have on hand instead of buying all new ingredients, which my pocketbook appreciates! She came up with these roasted tomatoes that we eat like bruschetta. Her grandmother saw the picture I posted on Facebook, and asked for the recipe. Mary texted me the recipe to share with everyone and I decided to keep it here exactly in her own words 🙂 Love my sweet, smart, and thrifty girl.

Mary Zick’s famous roasted tomatoes and garlic. Fabulous!

Oven like at 400
Cherry tomatoes, sometimes half em sometimes I don’t

chop up however much garlic you like (I like a lot)

put it on the sheet pan.

Sprinkle on red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning salt pepper and olive oil and toss it (don’t put basil cause it normally burns on me)

Bake for like 10 minutes just depending on how many tomatoes you used

They should be wrinkled but still have their shape and I normally just smush them put some basil on top and put it on bread


Easy Ham Roll Ups

Ever find yourself needing a quick appetizer and you don’t have time to run to the store for provisions? This is one I always have the ingredients for in my fridge. I can whip them up in no time, and put in the fridge to chill while I shower and get ready. Slice and plate before walking out of the house! So easy and always a hit.

Easy Ham Roll Ups

  • 3 Slices cooked ham from the deli
  • 4 oz. cream cheese; softened
  • 3 green onions; cleaned and trimmed

Bring cream cheese to room temperature.

Lay the ham slice flat on a cutting board.

Spread 1-2 Tablespoons of softened cream cheese over the ham slice.

Place green onion on the short end of the deli meat and roll tightly.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Place on a plate and cover with saran wrap. Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.

When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and cut each ham roll into bite-sized slices.

Printable recipe can be found here: Easy Ham Roll Ups

Recipe · Uncategorized

Maria’s Chicken Canapes

I met my friend Maria when we were sophomores at the University of Alabama. We used to play cards to all hours of the night! I eventually moved off campus and got a job at a hospital. One year I was unable to go home for Christmas, so we got together and did a “Friendsmas” together. She made these canapes and they were so delicious I’ve made them for every Christmas ever since! Hope you enjoy them!


  • 34 cup mayonnaise, more if needed to moisten
  • 14 cup minced fresh onion
  • 1(4 ounce) can green chilies
  • 1cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • miniature party rye rounds


  • Preheat oven to Broil.
  • Combine all ingredients and place them on the Party Rye bread.
  • Broil until brown and bubbly.

Print it here: Maria’s Chicken Canapes


Scotch Shortbread by Layne Rayder

Christmas cookies are my favorite tradition for the holiday season. When I lived in Osceola, Arkansas one of my friends hosed a cookie swap. My sweet friend Layne Rayder, who sadly passed away earlier this year, brought these and they were so buttery and rich. We made them in her honor this year.

Scotch Shortbread by Layne Rayder

  • 3/4 cup Unsalted butter ; not margarine
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar. Slowly add flour until incorporated. Add vanilla. Chill dough. Anytime dough becomes difficult to work with, chill for 15-20 minutes. Roll out and cut into favorite shapes. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a rack and decorate with colored sprinkles and colored sugar. Makes 24 cookies.


Crab Cakes

I made these in mini form for my annual Girl Nosh Dirty Santa Party and they were a hit! I googled an easy aioli recipe to top them and then sprinkled on some chives for a beautiful presentation. Served on my 3-tier Russell Wright serving tray! Simple, clean flavors and an easy preparation but makes a big impact!

Crab Cakes

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 ounce Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Parsley; chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 ounce Green onion; diced
  • 2 ounce Red pepper; diced
  • 1 pound Fresh lump Crabmeat
  • 3/4 cup Bread crumbs

Beat egg. Add all ingredients except crab. Add crab and mix gently by hand. Shape into patties. Refrigerated 20 minutes. Heat 2 T. Oil in a medium-high heat skillet and fry until lightly browned.

Printable version here: Print